Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Beyond the Bright Sea

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

So glad I didn’t miss Beyond the Bright Sea (Dutton Children’s Books, 2017) by Lauren Wolk. This award winning book was fascinating.

Twelve-year-old Crow lives on a small island in Massachusetts with Osh, the man who found her floating in a boat when she was a newborn baby. Crow is curious about her past. Where did she come from? What did her parents name her? Who had decided to give her to the tide? And why? And why are the other islanders besides Miss Maggie afraid of her? As she says, “I had a nagging need to know what I didn’t know.” Adventure with Crow and find out the answers when she learns them.

You can see the awards this book won here where you can also read about the author’s other books and their awards. Here’s an interview with her that talks about Beyond the Bright Sea. Laura is a Newbery honor winner for her debut book Wolf Hollow. Read more about Laura here and check out her art here. She’s also a poet.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Walls of Cartagena

cartagena.jpgOn twitter someone recently asked for recommendations of historical books for boys and I realized I hadn’t written up this one!
The Walls of Cartagena (Simon & Schuster, 2008) by Julia Durango is a historical novel based on real people in the 17th century. This very good and memorable story introduced me to some history and a place previously unknown to me.
Here’s a brief look at the story: Calepino was taken in by a wealthy woman when his slave mother died and has been raised with a life of privilege. But now at 13, because of his gift with languages, he is having to go with Father Pedro and help minister to those coming off the slave ships.
At last year’s SCBWI conference in LA, Julia accepted a Golden Kite for her book Sea of the Dead. I love what Julia says about herself on her blog: “Purveyor of Children’s Books & Monkey Business.” You’ll see why if you read about her other books. I love the picture of her house and her “out of the box” author visit idea, too.